Scythians were among the first immigrants in modern-day Kyrgyzstan, according to David C. King.
After conquering the Uyghur Khaganate in 840 A.D., the Kyrgyz kingdom saw its greatest growth. Since the 10th century, the Kyrgyz have moved as far as the Tian Shan mountains, where they have ruled for almost 200 years.
As a consequence of Mongol invasion in the twelfth century, Kyrgyz sovereignty had reduced to the Altay Range and Sayan Mountains. The Kyrgyz moved south with the establishment of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century. In 1207, the Kyrgyz quietly joined the Mongol Empire.
The early Kyrgyz are described as red-haired, white-skinned, and blue-eyed in Chinese and Muslim texts from the 7th–12th century AD, which is typical of ancient Indo-European tribes like the Slavic peoples. Recent DNA research, on the other hand, indicate the Kyrgyz’s origin from an autochthonous Siberian group. Many of the Kyrgyz peoples that currently occupy Central and Southwest Asia are of mixed origins, originating from remnants of many distinct tribes, but they now speak closely related languages, thanks to periods of migration, conquest, marriages, and assimilation.
Issyk Kul Lake was a stopover on the Silk Road, a land route connecting the Far East and Europe for traders, merchants, and other travelers.
The Mongols conquered Kyrgyz tribes in the 17th century, the Manchurian Qing Dynasty in the mid-18th century, and the Uzbek Khanate of Kokand in the early 19th century.
Two treaties between China (then controlled by the Qing Dynasty) and Russia in the late nineteenth century gave the bulk of what is now Kyrgyzstan to Russia. In 1876, the region, then known as “Kirgizia” in Russian, was officially integrated into the Russian Empire. Several revolts against Tsarist rule erupted in response to the Russian conquest, and many Kyrgyz fled to the Pamir Mountains and Afghanistan.
Furthermore, the crushing of the Central Asian uprising against Russian authority in 1916 prompted many Kyrgyz to flee to China. Because many ethnic groups in the region were (and still are) split between neighboring states at a time when borders were more porous and less regulated, it was common for people to move back and forth across the mountains, depending on where life was perceived to be better; this could mean better pasture rains or better government during oppression.
In 1919, the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast was formed inside the Russian SFSR, and the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast was created within the Russian SFSR (the phrase Kara-Kirghiz was used until the mid-1920s by the Russians to distinguish them from the Kazakhs, who were also referred to as Kirghiz). The Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic became a full republic of the Soviet Union on December 5, 1936.
Kyrgyzstan advanced significantly in cultural, educational, and social life throughout the 1920s. By forcing Russian on the population, literacy was significantly increased, and a regular literary language was established. Economic and social progress were also noteworthy. Despite the repression of nationalist movement under Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from the late 1920s until 1953, many elements of Kyrgyz culture were preserved.
The early years of glasnost had minimal impact on Kyrgyzstan’s political environment. The Union of Writers, on the other hand, allowed the Republic’s press to take a more liberal position and launch a new magazine, Literaturny Kirghizstan. Unofficial political organizations were outlawed, however some organisations formed in 1989 to address the severe housing problem were allowed to operate.
According to the last Soviet census, ethnic Kyrgyz made up just 22% of the population in the northern city of Frunze (now Bishkek), while Russians, Ukrainians, and people from other Slavic countries made up more than 60%. Nearly 10% of the population of the capital was Jewish (a rather unique fact, for almost any place in the Soviet Union, except the Jewish Autonomous Republic).
Ethnic conflicts between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz emerged in the Osh Oblast (southern Kyrgyzstan) in June 1990. Uzbeks make up a minority of the population. The Osh Riots were sparked by attempts to take over Uzbek communal farms for house construction. In October of the same year, a state of emergency and curfew were imposed, and Askar Akayev, the youngest of five boys born from a family of communal farm laborers (in northern Kyrgyzstan), was chosen President.
By that time, the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement (KDM) had grown into a powerful political movement with parliamentary backing. The Supreme Soviet decided in December 1990 to alter the republic’s name to Republic of Kyrgyzstan. (It was renamed the Kyrgyz Republic in 1993.) In January of the following year, Akayev restructured the government and formed a new cabinet made up mostly of younger, reform-minded lawmakers. The capital, Frunze, was renamed Bishkek in February 1991, reverting to its pre-revolutionary name.
Despite these political steps toward independence, economic realities seemed to be working against the Soviet Union’s disintegration. In March 1991, 88.7% of voters in a referendum on the Soviet Union’s preservation supported the plan to keep the Soviet Union as a “renewed federation.” Nonetheless, in August of that year, separatist forces forced Kyrgyzstan’s independence.
When the State Emergency Committee took control in Moscow on August 19, 1991, there was an effort in Kyrgyzstan to remove Akayev. Akayev and Vice President German Kuznetsov announced their resignations from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) when the coup failed the next week, as did the whole bureau and secretariat. On August 31, 1991, the Supreme Soviet voted to declare independence from the Soviet Union as the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
In October 1991, Akayev ran uncontested for president of the new independent Republic and was elected by direct ballot with 95 percent of the vote. In the same month, he signed the Treaty of the New Economic Community with representatives from seven other republics. Finally, on December 21, 1991, Kyrgyzstan officially joined the Commonwealth of Independent States alongside the other four Central Asian republics. On December 25, 1991, Kyrgyzstan was granted complete independence. The Soviet Union ceased to exist the next day, on December 26, 1991. Kyrgyzstan became a member of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1992. (OSCE). The official name of Kyrgyzstan was changed to the Kyrgyz Republic on May 5, 1993.
After the legislative elections in March 2005, a public movement known as the “Tulip Revolution” led President Askar Akayev to resign on April 4, 2005. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Prime Minister Feliks Kulov established a new administration after forming a coalition of opposition figures. During the demonstrations, the nation’s capital was plundered.
Political stability, on the other hand, seemed elusive as different organizations and factions purportedly connected to organized crime vied for control. Three of the 75 members of Parliament elected in March 2005 were killed, and another was assassinated on May 10, 2006, only days after winning a by-election to fill the seat of his dead brother. All four are suspected of being actively engaged in significant illicit business endeavors. Following a protest against government corruption and rising living costs on April 6, 2010, civil disturbance erupted in the town of Talas. The demonstrations turned violent, and by the next day, they had moved to Bishkek. President Bakiyev’s offices, as well as state-run radio and television stations, were assaulted by protesters. Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongatiyev was allegedly assaulted, according to contradictory accounts. President Bakiyev declared a state of emergency on April 7, 2010. Many opposition figures have been detained by police and special forces. In response, protestors in the capital, Bishkek, seized control of the internal security headquarters (formerly the KGB headquarters) and a state television station. [requires citation] According to government reports, at least 75 people were murdered and 458 were injured in violent confrontations with police in Kyrgyzstan’s capital. At least 80 individuals are said to have killed as a consequence of police confrontations, according to reports. By the 8th of April 2010, a transition government headed by former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva had seized control of state media and government buildings in the city, although Bakiyev had not resigned.
On April 13, 2010, President Bakiyev returned to his residence in Jalal-Abad and announced his resignation conditions during a news conference. Bakiyev, his wife, and their two children fled the nation on April 15, 2010, and traveled to Kazakhstan. Prior to his departure, Bakiyev signed an official letter of resignation, according to the country’s interim authorities.
Prime Minister Daniar Usenov accused Russia of sponsoring the demonstrations, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rejected this allegation. Members of the opposition have also advocated for the closure of the US-run Manas Air Base. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, has ordered steps to guarantee the safety of Russian citizens and to beef up security around Russian facilities in Kyrgyzstan to protect them from potential assaults.
On June 11, 2010, ethnic riots in South Kyrgyzstan erupted between the two major ethnic groups—Uzbeks and Kyrgyz—in Osh, the country’s second biggest city. The confrontations sparked concerns that the nation was on the verge of civil war.
Finding it impossible to maintain control, Otunbayeva, the temporary leader, wrote to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, requesting that Russian soldiers be sent to assist in the situation’s management. “It is an internal dispute,” Medvedev’s Press Attaché Natalya Timakova responded to the letter, “and for the time being Russia does not see the circumstances for taking part in its settlement.” As of June 12, 2010, the confrontations had resulted in a scarcity of food and other basic goods, with more than 200 persons dead and 1,685 injured. The Russian government, on the other hand, said that it will provide humanitarian assistance to the embattled country.
According to local reports, a fight broke out between two local gangs, and the violence quickly extended to the rest of the city. There were also accusations that the armed forces aided ethnic Kyrgyz gangs attempting to infiltrate the city, although the government rejected the claims.
The administration announced a state of emergency in the whole southern Jalal-Abad region as the rioting extended to adjacent regions. To keep the situation under control, the interim administration granted security personnel extraordinary shoot-to-kill capabilities. To safeguard Russian infrastructure, the Russian government agreed to deploy a battalion to the nation.
Bakiyev’s family was accused by Otunbayeva of “instigating the rioting.” “A curtain of smoke covered the whole city,” according to AFP. At least 30,000 Uzbeks have fled the border into neighboring Uzbekistan to flee the rioting, according to officials. On June 14, 2010, Osh returned to normalcy, although Jalal-Abad saw occasional arson attacks. The whole area remained under a state of emergency, with Uzbeks afraid to leave their homes for fear of mob assaults. The UN agreed to dispatch a representative to examine the situation.
Local confrontations exist, according to Temir Sariyev, deputy head of the interim administration, and the government is unable to completely manage the situation. He went on to say that security personnel were insufficient to control the violence. On June 14, 2010, media outlets reported that the Russian government was contemplating a request from the Kyrgyz government. On the same day (14 June), an emergency meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was convened to examine the role it might play in assisting to stop the violence. According to the Kyrgyz administration, ethnic violence had subsided by 15 June 2010, and Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva gave a press conference that day, declaring that Russia did not need to deploy soldiers in to calm the unrest. By the 15th of June 2010, at least 170 people had died, although the [official] death toll, according to Pascale Meige Wagner of the International Committee of the Red Cross, was an underestimate. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told reporters in Geneva that evidence indicated the violence was staged. If they do not get assurances of security, ethnic Uzbeks have threatened to blow up an oil storage in Osh. The United Nations believes the assaults were “orchestrated, targeted, and well-planned,” according to the UN. A person suspected of being behind the violence in Jalal-Abad has been arrested, according to Kyrgyz authorities.
A Kyrgyz government committee started examining the reasons of the riots on August 2, 2010. People from the mainly ethnic Uzbek villages of Mady, Shark, and Kyzyl-Kyshtak in the Kara-Suu region of Osh Oblast met with members of the National Commission, headed by former parliament speaker Abdygany Erkebaev. A presidential order created this National Commission, which includes members from numerous ethnic groups.
In August 2010, President Roza Otunbayeva announced the formation of an international committee to examine the incidents.
According to the commission’s findings, which was published in January 2011, the events in southern Kyrgyzstan were a “planned, large-scale provocation aimed at dividing Kyrgyzstan and undermining its people’s unity.” The “nationalistically oriented leaders of the Uzbek community” were held responsible for the provocation. After soldiers reportedly shot blank rounds into a throng attempting to join huge protests outside the Parliament in the capital Bishkek, Kyrgyz authorities detained party leader Urmat Baryktabasov on charges of planning the overthrow of the government on 5 August 2010. Security officers confiscated weapons and explosives from Acting President Roza Otunbayeva and 26 followers, she claimed.